A Century of Chess: Ostend B 1907
From Aron Nimzowitsch On The Road To Chess Mastery

A Century of Chess: Ostend B 1907

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In 1907, the Ostend tournament was split into two - a patrician championship section that doubled as a sort of Candidates Tournament and a more democratic Masters section, featuring a 31 player all-play-all, the largest round-robin ever conducted. The storyline here is the confrontation between the second-tier classical masters (Marco, Mieses, Teichmann) and the stars of the younger generation (Rubinstein, Bernstein, Duras, Spielmann, Nimzowitsch, etc), with the younger masters coming out slightly better in the end. Jacques Mieses was at his best in 1907. Earlier in the year he won an international tournament at Vienna ahead of Schlechter and Maróczy. He set the pace in Ostend with a crackling 13 points out of his first 16. Then he collapsed down the home stretch, losing to the tailenders Billecard, Shoosmith, and Van Vliet, in all cases falling apart soon after the opening.

The beneficiaries were Rubinstein and Bernstein who finished shared first - in Rubinstein’s first major triumph.

The tournament is especially notable for the emergence of Nimzowitsch. He made his début at Barmen where he was third from last and took the hint that he needed to deepen his understanding of chess. By 1907, only 21 years old and excluded by age restrictions from the Club Prive, the players’ favorite haunt, he was recognizably himself, favoring constrained positions where his pieces could develop dynamic potential. The term hypermodern wouldn’t be coined until around 1913, but, already in 1907, a certain tendency was apparent: the young players like Tartakower and Nimzowitsch played in an opaque style, deferring the action deep into the middlegame and giving themselves the opportunity to weave complex strategic plans.

For the first time some daylight became apparent between Rubinstein and Duras, the great stars of the new generation. They had shared first place in their section at Barmen (1905) and had equally spectacular results over the next years. Of the two Duras was probably the more talented, with his remarkable tactical vision, but he treated the openings sloppily and overly relied on his talent and, for the first time, Rubinstein pulled ahead of him.

The crosstable is actually much larger than this - so much larger I felt it would take up the whole screen